Observations placeholder

Al-Ghazzali - The Alchemy of Happiness - 10 The Intelligence hierarchy

Identifier

018776

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

Al-Ghazzali - The Alchemy of Happiness - 10 The Intelligence hierarchy

As we arrive at some knowledge of God’s essence and attributes from the contemplation of the soul’s essence and attributes, so we come to understand God’s method of working and govern­ment and delegation of power to angelic forces, etc., by observing how each of us governs his own little kingdom.

To take a simple instance: suppose a man wishes to write the name of God. First of all the wish is conceived in his heart, it is then conveyed to the brain by the vital spirits, the form of the word “God” takes shape in the thought-chambers of the brain, thence it travels by the nerve-channels, and sets in motion the fingers, which in their turn set in motion the pen, and thus the name “God” is traced on paper exactly as it had been conceived in the writer’s brain.

Similarly, when God wills a thing it appears in the spiritual plane, which in the Koran is called “The Throne”*; from the throne it passes, by a spiritual current, to a lower plane called “The Chair”*; then the shape of it appears on the “Tablet of Destiny”*; whence, by the mediation of the forces called “angels,” it assumes actuality, and appears on the earth in the form of plants, trees, and animals, repre­senting the will and thought of God, as the written letters represent the wish conceived in the heart and the shape present in the brain of the writer.

No one can understand a king but a king; therefore God has made each of us a king in miniature, so to speak, over a kingdom which is an infinitely reduced copy of His own.

In the kingdom of man God’s “throne” is represented by the soul, the Archangel by the heart, “the chair” by the brain, “the tablet” by the treasure-chamber of thought. The soul, itself unlocated and indivisible, governs the body as God governs the universe. In short, each of us is entrusted with a little kingdom, and charged not to be careless in the administration of it.

The source of the experience

Al-Ghazzali

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References